In this day when we are all walking around with tiny computers—i.e., smartphones—in our pockets and bags, issue advocacy looks a little different than it did just a few years ago. We can send a message about or even directly to our elected officials, and reach thousands of followers, via social media. We can fire off an email from just about anywhere. We can upload a video right from the farm field.
Much like the invention of the automobile, the rise of the smartphone and mobile tablet is significant not because of how the devices are made or how they actually work so much as the impact they’ve had on us—on how we live and work. It is extremely helpful for an advocacy organization such as Farm Bureau to have more ways for members to engage with policy makers.
However, come August, we are reminded of the advantages of face-to-face engagement. Congress is in recess until after Labor Day. Local, state and national politicians are making appearances at farm shows and fairs. August presents opportunities to engage in some old-fashioned hand shaking and in-person conversation about the importance of American agriculture to our nation and, therefore, the importance of enacting policies to strengthen agriculture’s ability to thrive. August is a key time to engage with members of Congress, in particular, as they will return to Washington in September with only a few days remaining on this year’s legislative calendar.
Whether you’re 22 or 82, and whether you prefer to tweet or meet your elected officials, I hope you will take every opportunity to advocate for agriculture during August. If you need information or guidance on what to say, reach out to AFBF and we’ll get you what you need. Or just visit our website (perhaps from that mobile device)at fb.org, and click the “Issues” tab to find a wealth of information resources.
August is prime time for agricultural advocacy, and with so many ways of advocating, there is no excuse for sitting on the sidelines!